If this region had a phrase most frequently exclaimed by visitors, it might be “Wow, is this really Oregon?” Rugged desert landscapes, vast open spaces, sparkling night skies, and the pungent scent of sage make it hard to fit much of this region into the usual image of the state. But it IS Oregon! If only one word were used to sum up this magnificent state, it would be “diverse.” Explore the southeast region. and you will take home a whole new appreciation for the place called Oregon.
The region’s heritage is also diverse. Native Americans, cowboys, Basque sheepherders, Japanese farmers, and European settlers: many cultures have left a mark on this land and continue to thrive here. As you follow the suggested itinerary, try to visualize it through the eyes of the Northern Paiute, long before trappers, pioneers, and miners arrived. Imagine the emotions of the Oregon Trail pioneers as they reached this region in August, having been on the Trail since May. Stretch your mind back millions of years—you are in a landscape that once was home to three-toed horses and bear dogs.